Album review: BURNING RAIN – Face the Music

BURNING RAIN- Face the Music

Release Date 22.03.19

Burning Rain have had a rather stop start career, this being their fourth release but only the second since 2001. In that time guitarist Doug Aldrich has raised his profile with stints with Dio, Whitesnake and latterly Dead Daisies, but here he is reunited with singer Keith St John, himself newly recruited to a reformed Kingdom Come line up.

Interestingly the album begins with perhaps its two least accessible tracks, in the slow, dirty grind of ‘Revolution’ and ‘Lorelei’, though the latter is a grower with a great mid-song solo and Keith sounding oddle like Steven Tyler.

The Aerosmith vibe is even stronger on ‘Nasty Hustle’, trotting along on a bluesy licks of the sorts that the Boston greats have long forgotten how to write, and the comparison recurs again on the title track and ‘Hit and Run’.

‘Midnight Train’ and the swaggering ‘Beautiful Road’ have a more commercial feel than I remember from their previous albums, while in more adventurous style ‘Shelter’ begins in acoustic blues style with some very Zeppelin-esque moments before the power chords cut through mid-song.

Closest in style to Whitesnake is ‘If It’s Love’,  a lush ballad with a spacious feel and smooth and soulful vocals from Keith, while ‘Hideaway’ sees a side of Burning Rain I’d not heard before, with the grooves reminiscent of late seventies/early eighties period Stones.

 While the Zeppelin-isms that characterised their earlier albums are less prominent this time, album closer ‘Since I’m Loving You’ does tip its hat to them, also reminding me of Badlands and other bands of that generation who rediscovered metal’s bluesier roots.

The quartet,  now rounded off by a new rhythm section in former Slaughter drummer Blas Elias and Y and T bassist Brad Lang are in lively and energetic form, helped by a sharp production.

 While wearing its influences a touch too obviously on its sleeves, this is an enjoyable album of strong songs. In fact, in between band members other commitments it represents their best chance yet of making a sustained breakthrough.  ****

Review by Andy Nathan


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